Nigeria loses N455billion annually to poor sanitation practices

The Nigerian economy loses an average of N455 billion (about $3billion) annually, due to poor sanitation conditions, a report released today by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) has said.

The loss represents about 1.3 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The desk study, captioned: Economic Impacts of Poor Sanitation in Africa – Nigeria, found that the majority (83.3 per cent) of these costs come from the annual premature deaths of about 121,800 Nigerians from diarrheal disease, including 87,100 children under the age of 5.

Nearly 90 per cent of the figure, the report said, is directly attributable to poor drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions, while access time and productivity losses accounted for 8.5 per cent of the total economic costs, with health-related costs accounting for about 6.4 per cent.

We’ve known for some time about the impact of poor sanitation on health, but this is one of the first studies to quantify the annual costs incurred because of poor sanitation,” said Yolande Coombes, senior water and sanitation specialist with WSP. “Nigeria will not be able to grow sustainably without addressing these costs.”

The study also found that 70 million Nigerians use unsanitary or shared latrines, 32 million have no latrine at all and have to defecate in open places, and that the poorest quintile is 10 times more likely to practice open defection than the richest segment of the population.


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